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the mad mix

Guest

Trust me; we aren’t that bad- Reasons for why advertisers aren’t as sleazy as people think.

May 19, 2017

Guest Article By: Carson Sauer

Now I can’t speak for you, but I find that one the biggest perks of being in the advertising industry is the high interest from those who aren’t. It’s fun to discuss current trends and the process of making an effective campaign (it also gives me a chance to talk about myself, and I love to talk about myself.)  However, sometimes with high interest comes high judgement. Questions such as “how do you trick consumers?”  or “are you ready for the cut-throat industry?” come frequently, and I wondered if others shared the view of the “immoral Mad Men”.

 This inspired me to do further research.

As it turns out, the public perception of advertising executives is not overly positive. Regarding trustworthiness, Ad Execs are consistently ranked low compared to other professions. Is this skepticism deserved? Here are some reasons that might help provide the right context for those who don’t trust your occupation.

The Watchdog Effect

 The watchdog effect speaks to the process of making the public aware of inconsistencies and or falsehoods about any significant news happening. Although most commonly used in the world of journalism, the same concept applies to advertising. If an advertisement can be condemned for being boring, insensitive, sexualized, loud, irrelevant or cliché, you can be ensured that a deceitful ad will be ripped apart. A false advertisement often results in a negative brand image for the client and a negative reputation for the advertising agency.

A frustrated consumer, a competing brand or vigilant website, such as The MAD Mix, all work as watchdogs to confirm that advertisements are held to a high and honest standard.

 Uninformed Person: “Advertisers try to trick us.”

 Potential Response: “If you were tricked by an ad would you trust that brand ever again? No? Then I guess tricking you isn’t in our best interest.”

 We are Storytellers.

I’m sure at least a few of you are familiar with the phrase “We are Storytellers”. Not only is it the tagline for Humber’s Advertising and Marketing Communications program, but, for me, it has become the go-to answer for what we do in advertising.

Advertising is exactly that, a story, and like most stories, creative liberties will be taken to intrigue the audience. It is important for critics to understand that the intention is not to deceive but rather provide insight into a brand’s personality. Red Bull doesn’t give you wings, buying a Lincoln won’t turn you in Matthew McConaughey, and there is no such thing as a puppy monkey baby. But that’s perfectly fine.

 Uninformed Person: “Advertisements depict a fake reality.”

 Potential Response: “Was the ad memorable? Did you understand the message? Did it evoke an emotion?  These are all realities.

 Don Draper is not our boss

Let me begin with a confession; I have a man crush on Don Draper. I’ve watched every episode of Mad Men, dressed up as him for Halloween and even proclaimed myself as “the millennial Don Draper” to my Intro to Advertising class.  He is a fascinating character in Mad Men’s setting of 1960’s New York, where he finds consistent success as a creative director navigating the advertising industry. However, he has what most people would consider unflattering traits. He is an alcoholic, womanizer and above all else a pathological liar. He lies at work, he lies to family and oh yes, he lied about his identity.  Don Draper’s persona throughout the series was to drink, lie and then come up with a brilliant advertising campaign.

An excellent formula for a captivating anti-hero but a terrible and unrealistic representation of a what an advertising executive by today’s standards. The truth is, Don Draper’s bad behaviour would overshadow his talent and would certainly end his career. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the show, people may use Don as a reference to today’s ad executive, and that’s simply unfair. It is also important to note that Mad Men was set in the 1960’s- an era where the advertising industry had an entirely different dynamic. Women and minorities had little to no influence, smoking was advertised without health concern, and overall ethics were questionable. Making a comparison to today’s advertising even more unreasonable.

The Don Draper/Mad Men vs. today’s advertisers is a debate for a future article.

Uninformed Person: “Will you become the next Don Draper?”

 Potential Response:“Yes. In a modern era where I intend to form honest relationships with my co-workers, drink only in appropriate scenarios such as networking events where I’ll adhere to the two-drink max rule and won’t leave the office for weeks at a time. So wait…will I be Don Draper?…maybe not.

 What do you think?

 Do you think that advertisers deserve a better perspective? Or is the stigma is justified?

Carson Sauer is a recent graduate of the Advertising and Marketing Communications program at Humber College. Although, he is not done with education quite yet as he will return to Humber for the Advertising Copywriting Post Grad next fall.  Connect with Carson on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Weekly Recap

Weekly Recap (January 7 – January 13)

January 13, 2017

With a few weeks into 2017, some huge brands have already made some significant strides. With a ton of action going on, you may not have been able to keep up-but not to worry, The MAD Mix has you covered as usual. Check out some of the hottest ads, trends, and more in this week’s weekly recap.

Fender: Raise Your Voice

M: If you’re into playing music, check this one out. If you didn’t know, Fender is one of the most prominent names in electric guitar and base manufacturing. Recently, they’ve been faced with the challenge that every brand is seeming to go through: attracting and retaining the new generation of musicians. CMO Even Jones has even stated that approximately 90% of people who start playing guitar drop out within the first year.  While the awareness is out there, it’s obvious that the biggest problem that Fender is facing is retention of customers. To address that, they’ve launched a new ad campaign with a stylish, sleek, sexy, and digital approach. Check out the spot below that’s advertising their American Professional series. Looking back on it, my very first guitar was a Fender Squier and I loved it. This spot is definitely making me reminisce to a time when I thought I was Slash…

 

 YouTube Introduces ‘SuperChat’

D: Have you ever found yourself watching a live stream on YouTube and hesitating to comment because it would disappear so fast anyway? No? Well for those that have, Super Chat is just for you. This is a feature that YouTube is testing out currently in 20 countries that enables viewers to pay to have their comment pinned to a live video. Whether you want to tell the Youtuber that they’re doing a great job or you want to promote The MAD Mix, you’ll be able to do so through SuperChat. It’s going to be interesting to watch this in its early stages and see if it makes it’s way to other platforms such as Instagram Live or Facebook Live.

 

Intel: Brady Everyday

M: NFL playoffs mean it’s getting close to every advertising freaks favourite time of year: the Superbowl. In this latest :30 second spot, Intel showcases their 360 replay technology by taking us through Tom Brady’s (the greatest QB of all time might I add) morning routine. CMO of Intel, Steve Fund, explained that while people typically use this kind of technology for showing athletes on the field. But the point of the spot focuses on the everyday person-even if it does feature Tom Brady. He explains that they wanted to make brushing your teeth, or making breakfast look epic because that’s what Intel technology is capable of. I thought the ad was hilarious, but you be the judge. Check out the spot below, and stay tuned for more Superbowl related ads in the coming weeks:

 

That’s our weekly recap to keep you up to date on the best ads, trends, and more that we could find over the week. You can check out our last weekly recap here. Think we missed something important? Let us know! Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook here.

Malick Ba

How Twitter Got Phased Out

March 9, 2016
Twitter

As a 90’s kid/millennial/20 something, a lot of my spare time is spent scrolling through social media on my phone (sue me).  Riding the up rise of smartphones within the last 5-7 years or so, it’s interesting to note some of the trends and changes that I’ve gone through with my mobile habits. In my experiences a few years ago, social media was concentrated into three platforms: Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  These were platforms that I relied on for entertainment, connecting with friends, building followers, and keeping up with current events. These platforms were the dominant players in the social media game back in the day, probably because of the lack of other platforms.  Flashing forward to 2016, the evolution of social media has changed so much and so quickly that one of these big platforms for me is quickly becoming harder to keep up with: Twitter.

Multiethnic Group of People Socail Networking at Cafe

Remember when Twitter was the most insane thing ever? I remember when I first heard about it and thought: “Wow, this is pretty stupid.” But after a year of peer pressure, I caved and immediately changed my opinion on it…drastically. I used Twitter for everything. Current events, world news, trends, social networks, you name it. But recently with the emergence and development of different social media platforms (Snapchat and Instagram most notably), I’ve had a harder time remembering that Twitter is still even a thing. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this way. According to Business Insider UK, since a peak in 2014 the number of tweets generated per day by Twitter users has fallen by more than half. With an active user base per month of 115 million people, Twitter has seen more than half of those people stop tweeting.Don’t get me wrong, I still know a lot of people who use Twitter on a daily basis. Its development over the years has seen some amazing success. But for me personally, I just don’t ever have the desire to tweet anymore, not like I had much interesting to say…for example:

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

A riveting tweet by me. No one responded.

I use Snapchat (malickba) and Instagram (@malickbba) probably just as much as I used Twitter a few years ago. This raises some questions: will we still be using these popular platforms with the same frequency a few years down the road? I think that with the emergence of so many fast paced, perspective based social media platforms (Periscope for example), will I phase out Snapchat and Instagram the same way that I phased out Twitter? I guess only time will tell. Until then, I’ll keep scrolling.

Malick Ba is a marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Malick Ba

The Best Advertisements of Super Bowl 50

February 10, 2016

While I was semi-disappointed with the outcome of the actual game, the Super Bowl this year in terms of discussion is definitely one to remember. For both advertisers and sports fans alike, the super bowl is one of the most anticipating nights of the year. As advertising students, Dak and I had several discussions about what our favorite ads were probably more than the actual game itself.  On average, companies spend approximately $5 million dollars for a precious 30 second ad slot for a commercial to be played if you can believe it. In this week’s article, Dak and I break down some of our favourite Super Bowl commercials:

Amazon Echo

Malick: The ad features Amazon’s latest product: the Amazon Echo. Just based off of the ad alone, the product looks very “siri”-ish (for our audience that uses iPhones) in the sense that it is a voice recognizing audio device. But if there is one thing you can expect in a multimillion dollar super bowl ad is a plethora of celebrity cameos. This ad features stars such as: Alec Baldwin, Dan Marino, and Missy Elliot (and even Rick Ross in the background) which you can assume makes the audience basically automatically be engaged. They even use the device to hint at a new Missy Elliot track which is a nice cross-promotion effort.

Audi R8

Dak: One thing about car ads, when they are done right they truly shine. This is especially the case with Audi’s Super Bowl ad advertising their new R8 model. No better way to demonstrate the thrilling experience of driving an Audi than to compare it with an astronaut flying a rocket. It truly gives you shivers. Don’t believe me? Watch for yourself.

2016 Hyundai Genesis

Malick: This one was probably my favourite. At the end of the day, who doesn’t find Kevin Hart hilarious? The ad features the “Car Finder” feature of the vehicle in the classic story of an overprotective dad on his daughter’s first date. Check it out.

4)    T-Mobile

Dak: If you’ve read some of my articles, you probably could’ve guessed that I am a fan of the 6 god himself. Drake fan or not, T-Mobile hits all the necessary areas for a Super Bowl ad. Funny, Trendy, and Buzz-Worthy.

So there you have it. With the amount of production, writing, and celebrity cameos, it’s easy to see why so much money has been spent on these ads. Big companies that are able to produce these ads are confident spending $5 million for such a short time because to be frank, they simply work. These were just a few of the plenty of ads that we saw over the course of the week, comment below if your favourite ad was left out!

Malick Ba

Tim Hortons Is Way Too Canadian For It’s Own Good(will).

January 27, 2016

In the last month, we’ve seen some pretty big changes with everyone’s favourite thrift shop Goodwill. According to The Toronto Star , in the last few weeks the second hand clothing store has seen 16 stores and 10 donation centers in Ontario shut down without much communication from upper management. What I mean by that is Goodwill employees had shown up for their respective shifts only to find a note on the door saying that the store has been closed.  On top of that, one of the biggest issues with this that I have is that Goodwill is known to hire a plethora of individuals with disabilities. With a combination of horrible communication and laying off 430 employees (many with disabilities) from a public relations perspective, this looks really really bad. To flip the script a little bit, there is one organization in Canada that truly embodies what it means to be inclusive, helpful, and truly Canadian: Tim Hortons.

A note posted on the front of one of the 16 Goodwill stores closed.

A note posted on the front of one of the 16 Goodwill stores closed.

It has been reported by The Toronto Star that Mark Wafer, a Tim Hortons franchise owner of 6 has reached out on social media to (former) Goodwill employees  (disabled or nondisabled) and has been offering them a place to work. Wafer himself identifies as being deaf, only being able to listen with 20% hearing.

Mark Wafer and Employee

Mark Wafer and one of his employees.

This is not some sort of elaborate PR stunt. This is not a marketing tactic to get people to buy more coffee. This is a story of someone who is truly able to embody what it means to be a loving, helping Canadian. Whether he knows this or not, Wafer carries the characteristics of the type of person that Tim Hortons’ brand should want to employ in their organization in management positions. Canadian businesses should look to Wafer as to how they can improve employee relations, business practices, and public image.

This situation reminds us about the difference between good management, and bad management. Goodwill ownership has fumbled pretty hard with public image because of their colossal lack of effective communication. The Tim Hortons brand has a gem in Mark Wafer. This is a prime example of a person who can improve business and perpetuate the positive Tim Hortons’ culture of what a true, inclusive Canadian leader would do in a situation like this.

Somehow, Wafer made Tim Hortons even more Canadian eh?

Canada_flag

Malick Ba is currently an aspiring marketing professional living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick is a senior at Humber College and is looking forward to what he can provide to the marketing world upon graduation. Follow him onTwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.